Day At The Track

Hartwigs Hanker for Gr1 glory

01:49 PM 02 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Winning classic races is nothing new for the popular Hartwig harness racing family in Adelaide.

Bill Hartwig, the patriarch of the family, achieved great success with the New York Motoring entire, Diamond Blue Chip in the 1990’s, winning the 1993 South Australian Derby, the 1994 SA Veterinary Surgeon’s Cup and Christmas Cup and a heat of the Victoria Sires Stakes and $136,122 in stakes.

While Bill and his sons Chris and Scott were part of the syndicate that raced the smart performers Jasper County (15 wins and $124,268), Earl Nugent NZ, the winner of 18 races including the Mildura Guineas, General Stoneridge (13 wins) and Galaxy Ruler, who won 31 races, including nine at Harold Park and the 2002 SA Christmas Cup and $146,972.

Chris Hartwig later became chairman of Harness Racing South Australia, serving from October 2016 until May this year, before stepping down to take up a managerial role in private enterprise.

He is still a Board Director of HRSA.

The family remains actively involved in the ownership of pacers. They are currently racing Bella Mystique, a Falcon Seelster three-year-old filly in the Justin Brewin barn.

The Hartwigs outlaid $52,500 for two superbly bred yearlings at this year’s Allwood Stud Farm SA Sale at Morphettville and both are eligible for the Group 1 $100,000 The Allwood to be held at Globe Derby Park in June 2019.

“It would be great to win the only Group 1 race in South Australia,” Chris Hartwig said. “The feedback we have had about both youngsters so far has been good.”

“We love racing the young horses.”

The family bought the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Morgan Abby for $36,000. It was the highest price paid for a yearling colt at the sale by SA interests, and the Western Terror-Bute Sister NZ filly for $16,500 was  the second highest priced filly.

The colt’s dam, Morgan Abby, a $118,050 earner with a three-year-old record of 1:55.7, has already left three winners from four foals of racing age. She ranks as a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Final winner, Its Only Rocknroll 1:53.2 ($309,432) and the Breeders Crown 2YO Silver winner, Lynniemach (2:00) and belongs to the immediate family of KIngstar, Chariot King, Emjayem Grand, Gold King, Royal Chef, Duel Prince and so on.

The colt is on his third preparation with Globe Derby trainer David Harding.

Harding said: “He’s a nice, big, strong colt. He’s doing everything right at this stage. I think he’ll make the grade as a two-year-old.”

The filly, who is a half-sister to four sub 2:00 winners, is a sibling to the NZ and Great Northern Derby winner Badlands Bute 1:56.6 ($338,365) and the NZ Oaks winner Caps Off 1:52.4 ($135,197) and to the dam of Group 3 winner, Hemisphere.

She was broken in by Lane Johnson and is on her third prep with Dani Hill.

Hill said: “She’s a well put together filly and a nice pacer. I can see no reason why she won’t make the grade as a two-year-old.”

Chris Hartwig’s wife, Kylie, is the owner of an Art Major filly out of the McArdle mare Lucilla Franco NZ which she bought privately as a yearling in Victoria. The filly is a half-sister to the SA Kindergarten Trophy and Mount Gambier Derby victor, Bayview Harbour.

With three two-year-olds in training, the Hartwig’s are understandably optimistic about the future. Bring on the baby races!


Peter Wharton

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